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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Help with very emotional 6yr old girl please
AslansG1rl 10:44 AM 08-12-2014
Hi everyone!

I am a live in mother's helper. I have worked for this family for almost four years now, and they are amazing!

They have three kids. 11yr boy, 6yr girl, and 20month girl.

We have recently moved to a new state,(about a month ago) and dad is now working a new job and a LOT of hours. So, she (the 6yr) is dealing with a lot of change.

The kids are for the most part very well behaved, polite, respectful children.

The 6yr old girl is having a hard time lately, and I'm not sure what to do.

For example: this morning I asked her to choose a water bottle. She didn't choose one, so I chose one for her, but she didn't like it, so, acted moody, and wouldn't let me put water in it because she wanted a different one....

This afternoon, she and I were doing art, and she kept using too much glue, so her pieces kept sliding off. I showed her the amount to use. At first she was fine. I left the room for less than a minute and when i come back in, she is sobbing because she, "can't make it right" and it isn't working.

The other day she wouldn't eat her lunch because it was on the wrong plate...

Before we moved, she didn't have these behaviors. I am trying to be patient and understanding with her.

But I am staring to get irritated and I don't know what to do.

She has so many melt downs a day now, and I don't know how to handle this.

She has always been the sweetest, obedient, well behaved, lovable gem, and now, she is starting to have these melt downs, and an attitude, and resistance..

Any and all advice is appreciated.

preschoolteacher 11:26 AM 08-12-2014
Some of the best advice I've gotten when it comes to kids is to set firm limits, let them have their feelings, and let go.

So with the water bottle, I would have filled up the one you chose since she wouldn't choose. She "wouldn't let you" fill it up--what does that mean? I'm saying this as nicely as possible, but unless the 6 year old physically stopped you from filling it, you actually didn't fill the water bottle because you didn't want her to have a tantrum. It was you, not her.

That's where the letting her have her feelings part comes in. She has a tantrum? "You really didn't want me to fill it up. You seem really upset," and then let it go. Walk away. Don't pay it any attention. Obviously, still supervise her. Let it run its course. When she's done, move on without a mention of it. She'll learn fast that throwing fits don't give her attention or give her her way.

With the glue scenario, I'd let her make mistakes and use too much glue and figure it out. She may have melted down because you told her how to do it "right" and she felt like a failure. I think everyone has the right to be frustrated and sad. I would have said something comforting and then moved on/ignored.

And if she doesn't eat lunch because it's on the wrong place, I guess she'll be really hungry for dinner!
AslansG1rl 12:27 PM 08-12-2014
Thanks for the response.

As for the water bottle, what i meant by her "not letting me fill it up" is this:

She didn't choose one, and when i chose one for her, I set it on the table so I could pour the water into it from the water pitcher. She picked up the bottle and would not put it down. I asked her to put it back so I could fill it for her. She didn't say anything, just kept holding it, and turned away from me. I put the water back into the fridge. I didn't get her a different bottle.

And the "wrong plate" incident... You are correct. She was VERY hungry for dinner and ate EVERY bite!!!

I guess, I am really trying to get some ideas on how much and how little should i expect from her right now? How much do I demand? I don't want to push her too hard right now, simply because she has had a LOT of changes recently.

Thanks for the advice about acknowledging her feelings and then letting it go.
Blackcat31 12:40 PM 08-12-2014
Her behaviors are more than likely her attempt at having some control over her life since the move..kwim?

She couldn't control that aspect of her life so she is trying to control what she can.

NOT that it's okay but it helps to at least understand where they may be coming from.

I would do exactly as Preschool Teacher said and just make sure the limits/rules are firm and consistent.

Allow her to feel however she wants but in a space or place the her emotions aren't someone else's issue.

Give her opportunities to have a say in the things that she can and be firm and consistent in other areas.

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